Global Black Friday study reveals UAE & KSA shoppers are among the highest spenders.
The Global Black Friday study conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, surveyed more than 11,000 consumers globally across 17 countries, including 1000+ respondents in UAE and KSA. The study assessed consumers’ shopping preferences and behaviors for this year’s holiday season, revealing some crucial insights that retailers can leverage to plan promotions and boost sales during Black Friday.
Black Friday is back with a bang
Last year, during the first holiday season of the pandemic, more than 60% of consumers agreed that the pandemic had influenced their shopping behavior - they planned less in advance, had lower budgets, and were less interested.
However, starting on November 26 and lasting several days, this year’s Black Friday event has reported record high awareness in the GCC this year, with around 98% of respondents in the UAE and KSA aware of its occurrence.
Black Friday is rebounding in a major way and enthusiasm seems to be back to pre-pandemic levels. More than 70% of GCC respondents indicated that they are planning to shop during Black Friday, much higher than the global average of 64%.
GCC consumers planning to spend big but on the hunt for attractive deals
Although down from 2020, the average intended spend per shopper in the UAE and KSA is a whopping $380 and $322 respectively, representing one of the highest budgets globally. The US, for example, has an average intended spend per shopper of $270.
Electronics and fashion are the top two product categories on the GCC shoppers’ lists, with a vast two-thirds of the shoppers saying they will buy electronics items during this Black Friday. Small household appliances and fashion & lifestyle accessories also feature prominently on shopping lists.
However, this spend motivation is hinged on significant discount expectations. More than 40% of respondents in the UAE and KSA indicated that they are looking for at least a 40% discount, with another 32% expecting discount levels between 26% and 40%.
Given these trends, it is evident that retailers will compete on deep discounting across online and offline channels, eroding their overall revenue potential. Lovrenc Kessler, Managing Partner (MENA) at Simon-Kucher & Partners, said in a statement, “Retailers should avoid entering price wars on promotions – it is a short term measure with high long-term cost. Instead, they should adopt a customer-centric pricing approach to address the needs of customers by providing them with the right prices for the right products.”
GCC consumers are choosing omnichannel experience more than ever before
Unsurprisingly, the rise in online shopping is continuing to reach new heights. The majority of all respondents globally plan to shop online this holiday season, China being the standout with 70% of respondents saying they favor online shopping.
While KSA consumers’ behaviors are aligned with this trend, with more than 40% planning to buy online, UAE shoppers indicated a strong preference towards shopping offline, with an astounding 39% planning to buy mostly offline from local stores. The only two other countries that exhibit this consumer preference are Norway and Columbia.
Furthermore, nearly a third of the GCC shoppers indicated that they will shop both offline and online depending on where they find the best deal and/or the product of their choice. Lovrenc added, “Given high proportions of omnichannel preferences, the retailers that successfully enable seamless continuity between online and offline channels will win this season.”